Reasons for and Impacts of Kava Use by Tongan Men in Kava Clubs in Auckland and Tonga
Social Sciences
Volume 9, Issue 2, April 2020, Pages: 56-60
Received: Jul. 3, 2019; Accepted: Oct. 9, 2019; Published: Apr. 13, 2020
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Malakai Ofanoa, Department of Pacific Health, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Stephen Buetow, Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Samuela Ofanoa, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Peter Huggard, Department of Social and Community Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Janine Paynter, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Vili Nosa, Department of Pacific Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
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Kava drinking in kava clubs has become an intrinsic part of Tongan Pasifika culture. Perceived effects and reasons for kava consumption are not fully understood. This study explored these issues using the culturally safe, Pasifika qualitative research approaches of Kakala and Talanga. Group interviews were held with a convenience sample of 104 Tongan men across 10 kava clubs in Tonga and New Zealand. A general inductive approach was used to analyse the interviews. Participants in both countries reported that kava use is socially sanctioned and easily accessible. Kava clubs provide an opportunity to learn about Tongan culture, socialise and are a safe way to relieve stress and boredom. However, kava consumption could reduce members’ productivity, contribute to ill-health and increase stress on family relationships. It is vital that kava use amongst Tongans is addressed in a way that deals with the negative impacts but protects its benefits. There is an opportunity to educate men about the health effects of kava. To enact this opportunity and solve this widespread issue, partnership between kava clubs, the church and the Tongan community is needed. A multi-agency engagement with kava club members and Tongan society may therefore be the best approach to minimize risks and optimize benefits of kava use.
Famili, Faikava, Tasilisili, Kalapu Kava Tonga, Kakala, Kava, Kavaholic, Loulou, Talanga, Tou’a
To cite this article
Malakai Ofanoa, Stephen Buetow, Samuela Ofanoa, Peter Huggard, Janine Paynter, Vili Nosa, Reasons for and Impacts of Kava Use by Tongan Men in Kava Clubs in Auckland and Tonga, Social Sciences. Vol. 9, No. 2, 2020, pp. 56-60. doi: 10.11648/
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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